Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

African Chinese on Kenya’s Pate Island

Africans of Chinese descent on Kenya’s Pate Island have Chinese roots with ancient links to Chinese sea exployers and shipwrecks. Mwamaka Sharifu, from Lamu Island off of Kenya's coast is a descendant of Chinese sailors travelling with Chinese explorer Zheng He in the Ming Dynasty.


Kenya’s Pate Island and Chinese sailors


Chinese Ming dynasty Admiral Zheng He, on his fourth voyage left China in 1413 arriving off the coast of Kenya’s Pate Island in 1418.
Pate Island Family
The Kenyan coast was a major crossroad in the spice and slave trading routes of the 15th century. Chinese Ming dynasty Admiral Zheng He, on his fourth voyage left China in 1413 arriving off the coast of Kenya’s Pate Island in 1418. 

Admiral Zheng He, the Ming Dynasty court eunuch whose fleet of 300 ships and 28,000 sailors was the biggest the world had ever known. His ships were said to have been four times bigger than those of Columbus and his seafaring travels were greater than any explorer before him.

Pate Island is located in the Indian Ocean close to the northern coast of Kenya and is the largest island in the Lamu Archipelago. According to Kenyan folklore, Chinese sailors who survived the shipwreck swam ashore and were allowed to stay on the Island after killing a python that had been troubling a village. 

The Chinese Ming sailors married and had children with the native African women, converted them to Islam and created a community of African-Chinese whose descendants still live on the Island of Pate.

Kenya’s Pate Villages' dressmaker's shop
Pate Villages' dressmaker's shop
Kenya’s Pate Island Chinese tradition has ancient links to Africa. On Pate there is an ancient graveyard made out of coral, they are the graves of the Chinese sailors, which died in the shipwreck. The graves are the same as Chinese Ming dynasty tombs, complete with half-moon domes and terraced entries. In 2010 Chinese government sent archeologists to the Kenyan coast on a $3-million, three-year mission to dig for artifacts.


China Girl Mwamaka Sharifu


Pate Island China Girl named Mwamaka Sharifu is hailed as the most famous descendent of the shipwrecked Chinese sailors.
African China Girl
Pate Island China Girl named Mwamaka Sharifu is hailed as the most famous descendent of the shipwrecked Chinese sailors. Mwamaka was rewarded with a scholarship in 2005 to a Chinese university, where she is studying traditional Chinese medicine. 

Sharifu said she admires Zheng's courage and adventurous spirit. "I was born as brave as my ancestors," she said. "It is rare for girls in my Muslim village to go so far to study, to such a big and different country." Sharifu went on to say "Beijing is a big city," Sharifu added. "But Taicang city will always be a special place for me as it is said it is where my ancestors came from. Located in East China's Jiangsu Province, Taicang is where Zheng set sail for Africa.


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Sunday, August 21, 2016

South African Indian Spiced Mango Chicken Recipe

South African Indian food is widely known for its spicy and flavorful taste.  Serve this exquisitely flavored South African Indian Spiced Mango Chicken Recipe with fluffy rice or with a side salad.



The fragrant mango sauce in this Indian-Spiced Chicken recipe calls for a mix of dried spices.


South African Indian Spiced Mango Chicken Recipe


Ingredients:
South African Indian Spiced Mango Chicken Recipe
South African Indian Spiced Mango Chicken Recipe
2 split chicken breasts
½ cup chickpea flour
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoons red chili powder
4 chopped coriander leaves
2 teaspoons curry powder (optional)
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 ripe mangoes, peeled and sliced
½ cup mango juice
¼ cup light soft brown sugar

Directions:

In an ovenproof frying pan heat oil. Mix chicken, flour, and spices and pan-fry 3 minutes on each side. In a small bowl mix mangos, sugar and lime and mango juice well, pour mango mixture over chicken and transfer to the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Serve this tasty dish for lunch or dinner with a mixed green salad or over rice. 

The fragrant mango sauce in this Indian-Spiced Chicken recipe calls for a mix of dried spices.
The fragrant mango sauce in this Indian-Spiced Chicken recipe calls for a mix of dried spices.



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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Easy South African Fruit Sauce Recipe

Apricot Raisin fruit sauce or Blatjang goes great with any braai or barbeque. What is Blatjang? Blatjang or fruit sauce is a versatile staple to any kitchen and is a thick sauce that contains fruits, vinegar, sugar, and spices and is used as a condiment.


 Apricot Raisin Blatjang is a traditional South African fruit sauce recipe made from apricots, onion, garlic, and raisins. Make and share this simple fruit sauce blatjang recipe with love from South Africa. 


What is Blatjang? Blatjang or chutney is a versatile staple to any kitchen and is a thick sauce that contains fruits, vinegar, sugar, and spices and is used as a condiment.
Apricot Raisin Blatjang Recipe

South African Apricot Raisin Fruit Sauce


Ingredients:

1/3 cup malt vinegar

1 cup dried chopped apricots

1 cup seedless golden raisins

¼ cup finely chopped walnuts

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon allspice

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons dried onions

Salt and pepper to taste


Directions:

Soak apricots and raisins in 3 cups of water inside a large bowl for 2 hours. Add all ingredients including soaking water in a large pot and simmer 15 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly pour into jars. Allow to cool on the counter.


Did you Know?
Blatjang or chutney is a versatile staple to any kitchen and is an African pantry essential.  

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Did you know?

An Oloiboni is an esteemed Maasai spiritual leader of religious ceremonies, customs, and traditional matters.

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